Combat with wild animals

Hey all. Just wondering how you do combat with wild animals. For my first game of Mouse Guard in early October which means more questions! My question stems from the fact that wild animals are often times looking for food which, if I remember correctly, means that combat can be lethal. I am doing a one shot game and would rather not kill off half the group in case there are some bad rolls. I know from the comic books that the snake was initially protecting it’s eggs but later it is a fight to the death. Do you all run most wild animal encounters to the death like this or do you often times have some other purpose that the animal seeks to fulfill rather than consume tasty little Mice? I am running this in Winter so animals are going to be hungry.

Thanks all!

How about setting your animal’s combat goal to something like “separate one of the mice from the others” or “pin a mouse under my paws” or “corner a mouse against the rocks.”

I think it is an excellent suggestion, by the way, I just want to understand where the end point is. Splitting off one of the mice is an excellent idea as it forces that mouse to fend for himself until he can reassemble with the rest of the mice. Would you, once the mouse is pinned or separated, run another conflict that was life or death? It would probably keep gratuitous deaths down to a minimum and that is my problem. I want there to be some wild animal stuff in there (maybe an owl or a prowling wolf) but I don’t want it just decimating the party. So you could have the owl separate out one mouse (perhaps splitting the party down the middle for a compromise) and then try and eat a mouse?

Thanks for the idea! I hadn’t even thought of that!

So many hypotheticals! But okay, let’s say the animal wins and pins one if the mice. First question would be about any compromises. Lets assume no compromises and to be extra mean, give the mouse a wound too.

Still, the mouse is conscious, armed and in and amongst friends. Just continue narrating “the fox lowers its gaping maw and raises its foot to gulp down the mouse! Test Fighter to stab him or Health to scramble away.” And now we’re in Twist or Condition land again.